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Herrmann, Esther; Misch, Antonia; Hernandez-Lloreda, Victoria; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2015
Human beings have remarkable skills of self-control, but the evolutionary origins of these skills are unknown. Here we compare children at 3 and 6 years of age with one of humans' two nearest relatives, chimpanzees, on a battery of reactivity and self-control tasks. Three-year-old children and chimpanzees were very similar in their abilities to…
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Young Children, Animals, Animal Behavior
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Moore, Richard; Mueller, Bettina; Kaminski, Juliane; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2015
Infants can see someone pointing to one of two buckets and infer that the toy they are seeking is hidden inside. Great apes do not succeed in this task, but, surprisingly, domestic dogs do. However, whether children and dogs understand these communicative acts in the same way is not yet known. To test this possibility, an experimenter did not…
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Intention, Toddlers, Animals
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Grueneisen, Sebastian; Wyman, Emily; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2015
Humans are routinely required to coordinate with others. When communication is not possible, adults often achieve this by using salient cues in the environment (e.g. going to the Eiffel Tower, as an obvious meeting point). To explore the development of this capacity, we presented dyads of 3-, 5-, and 8-year-olds (N = 144) with a coordination…
Descriptors: Cues, Young Children, Pictorial Stimuli, Experimental Groups
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Engelmann, Jan M.; Over, Harriet; Herrmann, Esther; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2013
Human cooperation depends on individuals caring about their reputation, and so they sometimes attempt to manage them strategically. Here we show that even 5-year-old children strategically manage their reputation. In an experimental setting, children shared significantly more resources with an anonymous recipient when (1) the child watching them…
Descriptors: Reputation, Peer Acceptance, Peer Relationship, Cooperation
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Kaminski, Juliane; Schulz, Linda; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2012
Domestic dogs comprehend human gestural communication in a way that other animal species do not. But little is known about the specific cues they use to determine when human communication is intended for them. In a series of four studies, we confronted both adult dogs and young dog puppies with object choice tasks in which a human indicated one of…
Descriptors: Cues, Nonverbal Communication, Infants, Human Body
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Warneken, Felix; Grafenhain, Maria; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2012
Some children's social activities are structured by joint goals. In previous research, the criterion used to determine this was relatively weak: if the partner stopped interacting, did the child attempt to re-engage her? But re-engagement attempts could easily result from the child simply realizing that she needs the partner to reach her own goal…
Descriptors: Young Children, Adults, Cooperation, Interpersonal Relationship
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Matthews, Danielle; Behne, Tanya; Lieven, Elena; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2012
Despite its importance in the development of children's skills of social cognition and communication, very little is known about the ontogenetic origins of the pointing gesture. We report a training study in which mothers gave children one month of extra daily experience with pointing as compared with a control group who had extra experience with…
Descriptors: Socialization, Social Cognition, Control Groups, Language Acquisition
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Bullinger, Anke F.; Zimmermann, Felizitas; Kaminski, Juliane; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2011
Both chimpanzees and human infants use the pointing gesture with human adults, but it is not clear if they are doing so for the same social motives. In two studies, we presented chimpanzees and human 25-month-olds with the opportunity to point for a hidden tool (in the presence of a non-functional distractor). In one condition it was clear that…
Descriptors: Infants, Animals, Human Body, Nonverbal Communication
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Schmidt, Marco F. H.; Rakoczy, Hannes; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2011
Young children interpret some acts performed by adults as normatively governed, that is, as capable of being performed either rightly or wrongly. In previous experiments, children have made this interpretation when adults introduced them to novel acts with normative language (e.g. "this is the way it goes"), along with pedagogical cues signaling…
Descriptors: Young Children, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Instruction, Cues
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Grassmann, Susanne; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2010
Adults refer young children's attention to things in two basic ways: through the use of pointing (and other deictic gestures) and words (and other linguistic conventions). In the current studies, we referred young children (2- and 4-year-olds) to things in conflicting ways, that is, by pointing to one object while indicating linguistically (in…
Descriptors: Young Children, Competition, Language Acquisition, Adults
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Melis, Alicia P.; Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2010
By three years of age, children are skilled at assessing under which circumstances others can see things. However, nothing is known about whether they can use this knowledge to guide their own deceptive behaviour. Here we investigated 3-year-olds' ability to strategically inhibit or conceal forbidden actions that a nearby adult experimenter could…
Descriptors: Cues, Visual Stimuli, Auditory Stimuli, Evaluation Methods
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Buttelmann, David; Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2009
Although apes understand others' goals and perceptions, little is known about their understanding of others' emotional expressions. We conducted three studies following the general paradigm of Repacholi and colleagues (1997, 1998). In Study 1, a human reacted emotionally to the hidden contents of two boxes, after which the ape was allowed to…
Descriptors: Nonverbal Communication, Primatology, Animals, Emotional Response
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Krachun, Carla; Carpenter, Malinda; Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2009
A nonverbal false belief task was administered to children (mean age 5 years) and two great ape species: chimpanzees ("Pan troglodytes") and bonobos ("Pan paniscus"). Because apes typically perform poorly in cooperative contexts, our task was competitive. Two versions were run: in both, a human competitor witnessed an experimenter hide a reward in…
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Rewards, Primatology, Animals
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Liebal, Kristin; Behne, Tanya; Carpenter, Malinda; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2009
We investigated whether 1-year-old infants use their shared experience with an adult to determine the meaning of a pointing gesture. In the first study, after two adults had each shared a different activity with the infant, one of the adults pointed to a target object. Eighteen- but not 14-month-olds responded appropriately to the pointing gesture…
Descriptors: Nonverbal Communication, Infants, Language Acquisition, Adults
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Kaminski, Juliane; Tempelmann, Sebastian; Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael – Developmental Science, 2009
A key skill in early human development is the ability to comprehend communicative intentions as expressed in both nonlinguistic gestures and language. In the current studies, we confronted domestic dogs (some of whom knew many human "words") with a task in which they had to infer the intended referent of a human's communicative act via iconic…
Descriptors: Child Development, Developmental Stages, Animals, Communication Skills
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